Friday, September 12, 2014

The Ebola outbreak. EIGN. for real this time.

We here at EIGN love to joke about the coming end of the world. Sometimes the crisis is real but remote (Colony Collapse Disorder anyone?). Sometimes it's real but happening so slow no one cares. (Global Warming anyone?). Sometimes the crisis is mostly a joke (Large Hadron Collider anyone?).

Sure all of these things could happen. But they aren't as scary as what is actually happening, right now, in Africa.

The ebola outbreak continues to get worse. And it may only be a matter of time before it reaches North America. A scary take can be found in this new york times piece.

"There are two possible future chapters to this story that should keep us up at night.

The first possibility is that the Ebola virus spreads from West Africa to megacities in other regions of the developing world. This outbreak is very different from the 19 that have occurred in Africa over the past 40 years. It is much easier to control Ebola infections in isolated villages. But there has been a 300 percent increase in Africa’s population over the last four decades, much of it in large city slums...

The second possibility is one that virologists are loath to discuss openly but are definitely considering in private: that an Ebola virus could mutate to become transmissible through the air." (new york times)

Save me jebus, indeed.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Giant Crater Found in Siberia

No word if "so and so" was found at the bottom of it, but an 80-meter wide giant crater was found in northern Siberia.
"The cause of its sudden appearance in Yamal - its name means the 'end of the world' in the far north of Siberia - is not yet known, though one scientific claim is that global warming may be to blame." Of course it is. Its depth has not be determined.

UPDATE [2014-08-01 12:22EDT] - apparently it was caused by a massive methane release. So the earth farted and we end up with a giant crator. I hope this doesn't happen under anyones house.

Monday, July 7, 2014

facebook can decide elections

eign stock photograph

First, they fucked with your mood. Now they can (maybe?) fuck with your elections....
Via the New Republic:

"... consider a hypothetical, hotly contested future election. Suppose that Mark Zuckerberg personally favors whichever candidate you don’t like. He arranges for a voting prompt to appear within the newsfeeds of tens of millions of active Facebook usersbut unlike in the 2010 experiment, the group that will not receive the message is not chosen at random. Rather, Zuckerberg makes use of the fact that Facebook “likes” can predict political views and party affiliation, even beyond the many users who proudly advertise those affiliations directly. With that knowledge, our hypothetical Zuck chooses not to spice the feeds of users unsympathetic to his views. Such machinations then flip the outcome of our hypothetical election. Should the law constrain this kind of behavior?"

oh well.  

Monday, June 23, 2014


Bad news for our friends on the East Coast… The great white shark population is (rapidly?) increasing along the Eastern United States and Canada.
“The number of great white sharks off the U.S. Atlantic Coast appears to have increased since the early 1990s after conservation measures were introduced to halt their decline, a U.S. government scientist said on Saturday.” (scientific american)

This is just perfect news that comes only 3 days before I visit the east coast and its beaches. Loyal EIGN readers, if I get eaten please avenge my death. We must stop these man-eating abominations.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Good News Wednesday: Jupiter's Red-Spot Shrinking

For this week's Good News Wednesday post, we have great news for those of you planning on visiting Jupiter when inter-solar travel becomes a reality. Jupiter's great red-spot is "shrinking dramatically."
"Ju­pi­ter’s trade­mark Great Red Spot—a swirling storm fea­ture larg­er than Earth—has shrunk to its small­est size ev­er meas­ured, as­tro­no­mers re­port. The rea­sons for the shrink­age is un­known, but it’s ac­cel­er­at­ing, as­tro­no­mers said. If it con­tin­ues at re­cently meas­ured rates, the fa­mous blotch will be gone by about 2030. " (

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Observing a Gigantic Solar Eruption

From EIGN co-founder Pete:

"This is the sun, I'm floored.  What year do we live in?"

Monday, June 2, 2014

Mega-Earth Found. Yes, Another One...

File this under "Cool"...

"You can add to the growing list of “exoplanets” a huge, dense, surprisingly rocky world with 17 times the mass of Earth. Discovered by NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope ... this new planet, officially named Kepler-10c, scrambles the equations that dictate how massive a rocky planet can be without ballooning into a Jupiter-like gas giant." (washington post)

[Ed. note:  We're pretty sure that picture is not of the new planet.] 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Massive Galaxy "About" To Collide With Us

photo by author

The Andromeda galaxy is coming! Watch out! Oh, wait I just watched the video... It's not going to be here for 2 billion years... and our planet will already have been sterilized by our expanding -and dying- sun.  Well... fuck.

(Neat) Video can be found here, at the New York Times.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Search for a Better Laundry App; or, What is Wrong With Everything

As long time EIGN reader and occasional contributor jg3 said when sending us this next story: "First. World. Problem. !"
"We are living in a time of Great Change, and also a time of Not-So-Great Change. The tidal wave of innovation that has swept out from Silicon Valley, transforming the way we communicate, read, shop, and travel, has carried along with it an epic shit-ton of digital flotsam. ... the brightest minds of a generation, the high test-scorers and mathematically inclined, have taken the knowledge acquired at our most august institutions and applied themselves to solving increasingly minor First World problems." (
The story purports to be about the search for the ultimate laundry app, but really it reads as great cultural commentary on what we've become as a society.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Experiencing Two Terrible Things, Together, At Once


Save us now.

A truck carrying 20 million bees overturned in Delaware two days ago.  
It took 13 hours to "clean up" the mess.   After 90% of the bees were "lost."
The driver and two passengers suffered "minor" injuries of 50-100 bee stings each. If those are considered minor injuries I don't want to know what major ones are.

But, I think the scariest thing of all is this nugget from the end of the news story:

"State police spokesman Sgt. Paul Shavack says on-call bee handlers worked with firefighters to spray water to disperse and calm the bees. It was the first time state police used their official honeybee swarm removal plan."

Delaware state police have an OFFICIAL HONEYBEE SWARM REMOVAL PLAN. Holy fuck!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Suburban Sprawl: The Same Everywhere

Good news wednesday!

According to wired, suburban sprawl looks just about the same no matter where you go on the planet.  So now you can live on a caul-de-sac and eat McDonalds no matter where you are on earth.  You tell us the world isn't getting smaller.

The photos document a peculiar approach to urban growth, one that that dominates rather than accommodates nature. Pittman hopes his photos will contribute to a conversation about our other options as we develop further.
There’s a negative and a positive message, being that I think we’re not living in harmony with our planet, and with each other, and that in the end we’re destroying ourselves,” he says. “But my message is also that I think we can live in harmony with the earth, and we can live in harmony with mother nature. We don’t just have to have this attitude of conquering, because in the end it hasn’t really worked out well so far. There are alternatives; I don’t want to just paint this picture of doom.”  [wired]

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Red wine doesn't extend life? Shit.

File this one under "son of a bitch there goes my nightly routine."

According to a story from Bloomberg News (via the Chicago Tribune) the ingrediant in red wine, Resveratrol, thought to have major health benefits has failed to "promote longevity among Italians who ate a rich diet in the antioxidant."

First off... they apparently studied people who "ate" a rich diet of it, not people who "drank" a rich diet of it. 
Second off... sigh.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Philly is Ugly?

No.  No it's not.  Proof can be found here:

Philly Is Ugly - Timelapse Love Story

With Love, Philadelphia XOXO

Friday, May 16, 2014

Colony Collapse Disorder Cause Discovered?

Has the cause of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) finally been uncovered? Perhaps, say Harvard researchers.
"Working with the Worcester County Beekeepers Association in Massachusetts, the researchers exposed 12 colonies across three locations to a “sub-lethal exposure of neonicotinoids, imidacloprid or clothianidin.” Neonicotinoids are popular insecticides that are chemically similar to nicotine. The scientists also observed six untreated control colonies at the same locations. The study found that all the bee colonies went about their business normally through the summer and fall, but by the end of winter six of the twelve hives exposed to the insecticide had been abandoned. One of the six control colonies was also lost due to an infestation by a fungus." [forbes]

So, the insecticides apparently are... working.   Sweet. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Good News Wednesday! Santa Maria (maybe) found?

Columbus' ship, the Santa Maria, may have been found off the coast of Haiti.  Fascinating.

"It's been missing for more than 500 years. But now there are reports that the Santa Maria, the largest ship among the trio that made Christopher Columbus' first expedition to North America, may be found. Undersea explorer Barry Clifford says he thinks he has found the ship in waters off of Haiti's coast.
... The Santa Maria sank after hitting reefs off the Haitian coast around Christmas of 1492, months after arriving from Spain. It is believed that Columbus ordered some of the ship's timbers stripped from the wreck in order to build a fort on land near the shore." [npr]

Welcome Back EIGN

Editors note: We suck. You know it. I know it. But our team is doing they best they can... at not doing anything. However we're going to make an attempt to post more. At least more than once a year. This definitely not a "re-launch" but... it's something. Everyone here wants to be creative again. Everyone here wants to try. I fear failure is inevitable, but whatever. Here goes nothing. -EIGN

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Antarctic Ice Sheet Melt, Point of No Return

So, it's been over a year, but whatever, you guys are busy. We're busy... Enjoying life before the end of it rather than blogging about it. But this one was too good to pass up.

The melting of the Antarctic ice shelf may have passed a point of no return. We may not be able to stop it.
“Now they say that not only is the disintegration of the ice already underway, but that it's likely unstoppable. That means that in the coming centuries, global sea levels will rise by anywhere from 4 to 12 feet.” [npr] 


Oh well, at least our beer will be cold for a while. Take that future!